When last weekend started, there were three drivers who had finished in the top 10 in all of the local sprint car races this season.
To clarify that statement, before this past weekend there had been five races, but it was only possible for a driver to compete in four since Lincoln and Port Royal had raced on the same night once.
Now it has been possible to compete in seven races, and there is only one driver who has been able to finish in the top 10 in all of those races. At the start of the weekend, Brian Montieth, Brent Marks and Cory Haas each had four top-10 finishes.
Montieth failed to crack the top 10 on Friday night, which left just Marks and Haas as drivers with top 10s in all their races this year. Both finished in the top 10 on Saturday as well, but Haas didn't attempt to race Sunday at Susquehanna, so after his fourth-place finish at Susky, Marks is the only man left standing with top-10 runs in all his races this season.
Marks finished fourth on opening day at Lincoln, then seventh on opening day at Williams Grove. He then notched two consecutive fifth-place runs at Lincoln leading up to this weekend.
This weekend, Marks finished seventh at the Grove, third at Port Royal and fourth at Susky.
While they each have two wins this season, Montieth, Greg Hodnett and Danny Dietrich have each failed to finish in the top 10 in all their races.
You know it's been a long tough winter when two teams miss the same night of racing because of breakdowns with their towing equipment. Lance Dewease and Steve Buckwalter were both missing from the lineups at Williams Grove last Friday because the trucks that bring their racers to the track broke down.
Scott Dietz, Dewease's car owner, said his team was just two miles from the track when it suffered the problems.
Clair Ritter, who owns Buckwalter's racer, uses the same truck to haul the race car and at his trucking company during the week. He said he was driving the truck himself, hauling a load, late in the week when mechanical problems arose.
Weekend schedule: Williams Grove will offer its first big race of the season on Friday evening, with the running of the "Tommy Classic" for the sprint cars.
Named in honor of the legendary Tommy Hinnershitz, who won the very first feature held at the Grove back in 1939, the Tommy Classic offers $6,000 to the winner. The super sportsman racers are also on the schedule.
Trailway is also in action on Friday, with the 358 sprints, Legends, classic cars and limited stocks.
On Saturday, Lincoln hosts the sprints, 358 sprints and street stocks, while at Port Royal it's sprints, late models and 305 sprints.
Selinsgrove has the 358/360 sprints, late models, pro stocks and roadrunners on Saturday, while at Hagerstown it's late models, late model sportsmen, pure stocks, hobby stocks and the All American Outlaws.
By the way, you may have heard that Selinsgrove promoter Charlie Paige will be leaving at the end of the season after 15 years at the helm of the track. The Selinsgrove Fair Board released a statement Monday to reassure race fans that they are already in the process of selecting a new promoter.
Susquehanna's Saturday slate includes limited late models, street stocks, Xtreme stocks, road warriors, minivans, classic cars and the Penn Mar vintage stocks.
The All Star sprints start east on Sunday with racing at Bedford. The following weekend (April 24 and April 25) they are at Williams Grove on Friday and Port Royal on Saturday. The Port Royal show is the Bob Weikert Memorial, which pays $15,000 to win. That same weekend, Fred Rahmer has a sprint car race at Path Valley on Sunday.
Fish fry: The Gary Wolford Fish Fry is fast approaching at Latimore Valley.
Pencil in May 3 for the big event. They have plenty of fish and french fries and it's all for a donation to the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.
There's an interesting lineup for this year's "blindfold race." Representing the super sportsman series are former driver Howie Locke and current driver Steve Wilbur. Representing the modifieds are Dave Dissinger and Craig Whitmoyer. For the sprint cars, Brent Marks and Alan Krimes will be the representatives.
But here's the real interesting one, for the "retired" drivers, the group will actually be a group of non-drivers with close ties to racers. Debbie Rahmer, wife of Fred and mother to Freddie and Brandon, and daughter of long-time modified owner Frank Rio; Kathy Kauffman, wife of Keith; and Vickie Leppo, mother of Brian.
Round table: The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing will host its third Sunday Round Table this week.
The topic this week for the 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. event is Williams Grove and Selinsgrove late models. Retired Hall of Fame late model car owner Barry Klinedinst is organizing the event.
1970: It was another wet weekend in 1970.
The whole Saturday slate made it into the record books, but Sunday racing was washed out at Williams Grove and Hagerstown.
Lincoln opened for the season on Saturday, with Bobby Gerhart, father of current ARCA star Bobby Gerhart Jr., picking up the win in the Ordt Brothers No. 36. At Port Royal, Johnny Grum got his first win of the season in Harry Fletcher's No. 66, and at Selinsgrove, Mitch Smith got his third win of the season in Gary Wasson's No. 5.
Bryan Householder writes about dirt-track racing for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sprint car standings
Speedway Motors/Champion Racing Oil Central Pennsylvania Sprint Cars
Presented by Hoseheads.com
1. Greg Hodnett (2) 193
2. Danny Dietrich (2) 172
3. Brian Montieth (2) 166
4. Brent Marks 152
5. Lucas Wolfe 114
6. Aaron Ott (1) 110
7. Cory Haas 90
8. Lance Dewease (1) 86
9. Austin Hogue 80
10. Freddie Rahmer 78
Capital Renegade 358 sprint Series
1. Doug Hammaker 93
2. Brad McClelland (1) 85
3. Cody Fletcher 65
3. Kody Lehman 65
5. Adrian Shaffer (1) 60
6. Todd Rittenhouse Jr. (1) 50
6. Issac Sneeringer (1) 50
8. David Holbrook 46
9. Seth Kearchner 45
9. Chandler Leiby 45